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Design Directory - Georgian or Victorian?

If you live in a period property, how do you know what age it is from?
Design Directory - Georgian or Victorian?
Large sash windows fill elegant rooms with natural light and bright white Stucco reflecting the sun's brilliant rays. We love the character features and the ornate cornice around the towering ceilings. Period properties are always very popular.

The various periods brought different features to properties based on fashion trends and building techniques. These distinctive features help us to determine the age of the properties. It is how we can tell the build date, from a Georgian property to Victorian or Edwardian. 

So, if you live in a period property, how do you know what age it is from?

What are the main characteristics of a Georgian property?
Townhouses, arranged over three or four storeys.
Sash windows with smaller panes – tall windows on the first two floors and smaller windows on the top storeys
Symmetrical flat exterior and balanced interior layout
Built around garden squares, as the houses did not have their own garden
Georgian Architecture is perhaps the most recognisable. Large white, stucco-fronted townhouses can be found in every UK town, depicting a time in history of wealth and opulence.

The period covers the reign of King George I through to King George IV, or the dates from 1714 - 1837, predominantly the 18th Century.

The properties were spacious, covering multiple storeys, with staff living on the highest floors and the family of the house occupying the first and second floors.

Entertaining was commonplace, so properties had beautiful dining rooms with extravagant decorations. The kitchens would often be found on the lower ground floor.

By way of an income tax, the government introduced a window tax that was actually in place between 1696 and 1851. The idea was that if you could afford a property with lots of windows, you needed to pay a higher income tax. As a result, many wealthy property owners bricked up some of the windows to reduce taxes. Many of these properties still show a bricked-up window today, which has become a key feature of a Georgian property.

A Georgian property is usually identifiable because of the symmetry in the simple facades. Rectangular windows that are symmetrical across the front of the property with simple, elegant features, although, as we moved towards the Victorian period, the decorations did become a little more elaborate.

What are the main characteristics of Victorian property?
Coloured brickwork
High-pitched roof with ornate gable trim
A brickwork porch with a geometric tiled floor
Stained glass windows
Bay windows to sit in for reading and writing
Fireplace in every room
Elaborate design details that reflect the wealth of the owner and those coming into 'new' money

The Victorian period covers the rule of Queen Victoria I, 1837 - 1901. During this time, the country had many changes as we moved into the industrial revolution. 

Factories sprung up in every city, making and manufacturing things. As a result, we saw the rise of the middle class. Formerly, we had wealthy upper classes and lower working classes. But now, factories needed managers, so the middle class grew from aspirational workers who took higher salaried managerial positions. 

Factory owners also needed staff to work in the factories, so they built properties so that staff could live close to work. This was the beginning of the back-to-back victorian terraces you will find in almost every city or town. 

These properties were built very quickly and were made to take up as little land as possible. This is why the properties usually open the front door straight onto the pavement and have only a small rear yard. They are tightly packed to house as many families as possible. 

Homeownership was formerly reserved for the landed gentry, but the rising middle class were paid a decent salary and could own their own home. This saw a rise in slightly larger family homes to bridge the gap between terraced houses and stately homes. 

As the Victorian period progressed, we moved away from Stucco and built properties using red brick. Factories could make bricks quickly and easily, and the newly invented railway system allowed for transporting them around the country. 

Victorian properties were more ornate, moving away from the simple elegance of the Georgian properties. Sash windows were still popular, but additional flourishes and ornate finishing touches started to come in. Possibly because properties were built en masse and quickly, these flourishes were used to show that the property owner had money, perhaps in comparison to their neighbours. The first example of 'Keeping up with the Jones's' maybe.

So, if you live in a period property but don't know the year it was built or the period, this information will help you. The features we get in these period homes are always popular whether Georgian or Victorian.